Study: Boosting Ohio walking and biking could save billions

Ohio

People walk their bicycles while crossing the street in Evanston, Ill., Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he would again impose tougher statewide restrictions if the latest resurgence of coronavirus cases continues to escalate. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new plan says boosting walking and biking opportunities for Ohioans could save billions of dollars.

The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan was developed over the past two years by the state Department of Transportation. The plan found that existing trips by foot or bike can save Ohioans $12.7 billion in transportation and environmental costs over 20 years and even more if such trips increase by just 1%.

The plan also highlights a need to help families that cannot afford transportation and aren’t in areas where public options are accessible.

“Nearly one out of every 10 Ohio households does not have access to a motor vehicle, meaning active transportation options like walking and bicycling are necessary to meet basic needs,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “When we ensure that walking and biking are safe, convenient, and accessible options – everybody wins. The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan puts us on the right path to do that.”

The plan is also about safety and introduces a framework for advancing active transportation by documenting existing conditions, identifying roles and responsibilities of various partners and outlining critical actions for ODOT to focus on over the next five years. 

“Although the publication of Walk.Bike.Ohio is a major milestone for Ohio, it is just the beginning of the work necessary to achieve our vision,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

For more information on what ODOT will be focused on to support walking and biking in Ohio, click here.

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